Empire State Building

History, Restaurants

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Today, the only thing you’ll be spending money on when you travel to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building is the $50+ Observation Deck ticket. But back in the ’30s, it was a much more glamorous experience, complete with the Empire State Observatory Fountain and Tea Room.

The New York Public Library recently digitized 18,000 of its 40,000 restaurant menus, which range from 1851 to 2008, including this one from the Empire State Building in 1933. As you’ll see, sandwiches (ham, peanut butter, and tomato and lettuce, to name a few) were a mere 25 cents, the same price as their six types of ice cream sundaes and ten flavored sodas. In terms of actual food, your only choice other than a sandwich would’ve been a pretty blah-sounding salad, some pastries, or a selection of “candy and cigarettes.”

More right this way

Major Developments, Staten Island

new york wheel staten island

Despite controversy, several delays, and a $30 million crowdfunding attempt, the New York Wheel is projecting major first-year revenue. According to The Real Deal, developers of the 630-foot Staten Island ferris wheel expect to bring in a staggering $127.85 million in 2017, a figure that will make it more lucrative than the Empire State Building’s observation deck, which raked in $111.5 million last year. Of the total revenue, $96 million is projected to come from admission fees (which come in at $35 a person, as compared to the Empire State Building’s $32); $10 million from sponsorships; and $8.7 million from gift shop sales. And if you’re impressed by these numbers, annual revenue will likely grow to $166.52 million by 2021!

Find out more

Art, Design

Taylor Doolittle designer, handmade print, print empire state building, poster empire state building

The Empire State Building has a long and torrid history and is arguably the most iconic piece of New York Architecture to date, with both native New Yorkers and tourists alike looking to the towering mega-structure as a symbol of man’s ingenuity and achievement. That being said, who wouldn’t want to adorn their walls with this cool graphic poster of the Empire State Building from designer Taylor Doolittle? In addition to an illustration of the cherished building, this poster will fill your days with useful trivia, as it also includes a slew of facts about the building’s history and legacy.

Find out how to get your own print

Design, Interiors, Midtown

LinkedIn Offices, Interior Architects, Empire State Building, cool workplaces

The Empire State Building is already one of the most unique places to work in the city, but the LinkedIn offices on the 28th floor have made the iconic building even cooler. Interior Architects recently remodeled the 33,005-square-foot space, which houses the social network’s sales team. The result is a floor that is “fun and vibrant,” but maintains the professionalism of a “club level of a hotel.” Just a warning, though, everything about this office–from a wall of rotary phones that conceals a speakeasy to a photo display that celebrates employees’ pets–is going to make you pretty bummed about your boring cubicle.

Take a tour of the office here

Architecture, ideas from abroad

Metsä Wood, Empire State Building, wooden skyscrapers

Courtesy of Metsä Wood

Back in March, an Austrian architecture firm announced plans to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper in Vienna, noting that by using this material instead of concrete, they’d save 3,086 tons of CO2 emissions. The news launched a lot of musings from the architecture community on the benefits of wood construction versus steel or concrete. A new story, originally published on ArchDaily by Patrick Kunkel, takes a look at whether or not the Empire State Building could have been built with timber.

Michael Green has teamed up with Finnish forestry company Metsä Wood and Equilibrium Consulting to redesign the Empire State Building with wood as the main material. The project is part of Metsä Wood’s “Plan B” program, which explores what it would be like for iconic buildings to be made of timber. Their work shows that not only can wood be used to produce enormous structures in a dense urban context, but also that timber towers can fit into an urban setting and even mimic recognizable buildings despite differences in material.

Read the rest here

Featured Story

Features, History

Shhhhh…Secrets of Your Favorite NYC Landmarks

By Stephanie Hoina, Wed, May 27, 2015

secrets of NYC landmarks

Sure, pretty much everyone living in New York City is familiar with Grand Central Station, Central Park and some of our other more notable landmarks, but these well-known locations still hold secrets that even born-and-bred New Yorkers may be surprised to learn. We’ve gathered together just a few to get you started, but in a city this size, with a history this long, there are many more that await your discovery. How many of these secrets were you aware of?

Find out all about these hidden gems here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

art deco elevators

Chrysler Building elevators via Wally Gobetz on Flickr

Earlier this week, we visited the New York School of Interior Design‘s latest exhibit, Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York’s Landmark Interiors, which, on the 50th anniversary of New York’s landmark legislation, features photography and information about more than 20 public spaces, known and little-known, that have been designated as interior landmarks. Looking through images of restored Broadway theaters, perfectly preserved coffered rotundas and period furniture, we couldn’t help getting stuck on one often-overlooked element–the elevator.

For most of us who live in a high rise or work in a typical office building, the elevator doors are just another blank wall that we stare at, only paying attention when they open and usher us in. But when the city’s great Art Deco buildings were rising, the elevators were an extension of the lavish ornamentation and geometric details of the façade and interior lobby. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Art Deco elevators in landmarked interiors, which means they’re all publicly accessible so you can check them all out first hand.

Go up in style here

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